Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805. As a child, Andersen showed a strong propensity for literature, particularly plays, and would put on his own puppet shows. His parents encouraged their son’s lively imagination: his father would take him to the playhouse, while his mother’s superstitious beliefs inspired his love of folklore. When he was 11 years old, Andersen’s rosy childhood ended with the death of his father. He began working at various jobs, and at the age of 14, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor, singer and dancer. After his voice changed, he was forced to leave the stage and he switched to writing plays. Although his first plays were all rejected, he received a grant that funded his tuition in grammar school and Copenhagen University. Read more about Andersen’s early years in this biography
on the Web site of Pegasos, a Finnish literary magazine.